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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 848632, 17 pages
Review Article

Interaction of Dietary Fatty Acids with Tumour Necrosis Factor Family Cytokines during Colon Inflammation and Cancer

1Department of Cytokinetics, Institute of Biophysics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i., Královopolská 135, 612 65 Brno, Czech Republic
2Institute of Experimental Biology, Department of Animal Physiology and Immunology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic

Received 14 February 2014; Accepted 29 March 2014; Published 30 April 2014

Academic Editor: Arkadiusz Orzechowski

Copyright © 2014 Jiřina Hofmanová et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Intestinal homeostasis is precisely regulated by a number of endogenous regulatory molecules but significantly influenced by dietary compounds. Malfunction of this system may result in chronic inflammation and cancer. Dietary essential n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and short-chain fatty acid butyrate produced from fibre display anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities. Both compounds were shown to modulate the production and activities of TNF family cytokines. Cytokines from the TNF family (TNF-α, TRAIL, and FasL) have potent inflammatory activities and can also regulate apoptosis, which plays an important role in cancer development. The results of our own research showed enhancement of apoptosis in colon cancer cells by a combination of either docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or butyrate with TNF family cytokines, especially by promotion of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway and modulation of NFκB activity. This review is focused mainly on the interaction of dietary PUFAs and butyrate with these cytokines during colon inflammation and cancer development. We summarised recent knowledge about the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in such effects and outcomes for intestinal cell behaviour and pathologies. Finally, the possible application for the prevention and therapy of colon inflammation and cancer is also outlined.